by Patti Richter
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Matthew 7:9 NIV
The feeling of independence was a heady thing for me the day I left home, driving my own car back to college for the first time. Two hours into the journey, I left both the freeway and the summer heat behind as I headed into the cooler elevation of the Ozark Mountains. To fully enjoy the experience and the view, I turned off the air conditioning and lowered my window. But before long I heard a strange sound that quickly filled me with panic.
My little blue Ford seemed to be gasping for air—and losing steam with each breath. What awful timing! The shoulder-less road featured hairpin turns that prevented pulling off any time soon. And I had miles of mountains still ahead with no gas stations or other businesses. (And no cell phones in those days.)
I reacted with just one desperate thought: If only Dad was here! My father would know both the problem and the solution, but he was 150 miles away. Tears filled my eyes before another thought suddenly occurred to me: I had another Father—a much more available one.
As a new Christian, I was all about Jesus. I’d known him as my Savior for nearly a year; but in all my first-love passion for him, I hadn’t yet fully appreciated that I’d also gained a bona fide relationship with a loving Father in Heaven.
The apostle Paul explained that we are reconciled to God “through the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10 NIV). The apostle John wrote, “Our fellowship is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3 NIV).
I truly appreciated my reconciliation with God. However (maybe because I still had parents to support me), I hadn’t yet needed to desperately implore my heavenly Father for his help. Even so, the words of Jesus assured me that I could. I recalled how he told his followers not to worry: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV).
I knew my father back at home would not have ignored my cry for help. Now I needed to trust that my Father in heaven wouldn’t either.
In a voice loud enough to compete with my car’s coughing sounds, I asked God to get me safely through the mountains. Immediately, the engine sounded normal. My car was breathing easy again, and so was I.
I took the rest of those hairpin turns with a heightened sense of wonder. The Creator of the mountains had stooped low enough to answer the plea of a needy traveler—one of his own daughters!
As I emerged from the hills to the first town below, my car’s engine trouble suddenly returned—this time in view of a gas station, and I pulled in. Within minutes, the attendant told me, “I adjusted the valve on your carburetor for these altitudes. You should be all taken care of now.”
And, indeed, I was.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 NIV
This article brought to you by the Advance Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She is a freelance journalist and long-time faith columnist at BlueRibbonNews.com with more than four hundred published articles.
Patti is the co-author of the award-winning Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering. It is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.
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